Australia’s recreational shooters and hunters are happier, healthier and fitter than non-shooters, deliver a $2.4 billion shot to the economy each year and create tens of thousands of jobs.
The Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting report commissioned by former Federal Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie, now Minister for Agriculture, and successfully lobbied for by the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA), has highlighted the benefits of the recreation to our nation. The report found ‘hunting and shooting provides opportunities for physical activity as well as pathways for greater wellbeing’ through connection with the great Australian outdoors. It also found shooters had greater confidence, enjoyed social networks, undertook more physical activity and had better nutrition than the average Australian.
The economic benefit is more than five times that delivered by the Melbourne Cup each year and helps fight the monetary cost to Australia of $3.7 billion in poor health and inactivity. SSAA National President Geoff Jones said: “Our Association’s members should be congratulated for being environmental volunteers, removing pest animals which threaten our native flora and fauna.”
The findings are delivered as the SSAA is powering towards a membership base of 200,000. The Association has also launched a women’s publication – Australian Women’s Shooter – in a bid to increase its female base. “Shooting really is a non-discriminatory activity which caters to people of all genders, race, ages and abilities and delivers tangible economic and health benefits to Australia,” said Mr Jones.